I am about to admit something that I have never really told anyone. My wife did not know until yesterday. None of my friends know. My family doesn’t know. If you’ve read my stuff before, you know that I am kind of an open book, but there is one thing I have always held back. And now I am going to tell you. And you may look at me differently. I am prepared to accept that. You may hate me or pity me – I understand. I accept the ramifications of this announcement. I am no longer afraid. I am coming out of my closet of shame. Are you ready?
Since I was six years old, I have wanted to be an advice columnist. Whew. That was hard. When I was little, I read the paper every day. Mostly the comics, but ALWAYS Dear Abby and Ann Landers. I was obsessed with it. And I knew I would be good at it. Part of the reason I loved teaching is that kids came to me all the time for advice…because I give good, sound, well thought out advice (to everyone but myself).
I can’t follow my own advice, but if you have a problem, I’m your man. I grew up, of course, and moved on to Dan Savage and edgier sages. I love Dan Savage. If I believed being gay was a choice, I would have decided to be gay, moved to Seattle and tried to make Dan Savage fall in love with me.
When I was attending San Francisco State (the last year or so – before the dot com bubble burst), I couldn’t afford to live in the city. I lived in East Palo Alto (which at the time was the murder capitol of the US). I drove an hour to and from school. And I took night classes because I worked during the day. So I would drive home most nights smoking cigarettes and listening to ‘Love Line’. This was when Adam Corolla was funny and Dr. Drew wasn’t quite so much of a fame whore yet.
This is hard stuff for me to talk about. I was a sports writer for god’s sake. I write gritty, literary fiction. An advice column? The SHAME! Oh, god, how I wanted one. It was my secret. I never told a soul.
Recently, David Antrobus, J.L. Murray, and I started a blog called BlergPop. It is basically a place where we put all the stuff that no one else will publish. You should check it out. But the reason you should check it out with a vengeance is because starting tomorrow, I will be doing a weekly advice column every Friday. (I almost just giggled)
People are going to email Q’s to email@example.com, and I am going to advise and malign them. It is literally a dream come true. I hope people will send me questions, but I’m not above soliciting them on the street.
I don’t know why I like giving advice so much. Or making fun of people’s problems. But I do. Oh, I do so much. I feel like Charlie when he found the golden ticket. I live in the Bay Area where it rains occasionally. So, choke on that Savage, you sodden bastard. I’m coming for you (but I love you, let’s spoon and talk about people we can offend). So, to conclude. I don’t want your cold or hungry or any of that stuff. I want questions from real people about real problems. And I want Hise to run this post even though he probably shouldn’t. And I want all you six year olds out there reading Indies Unlimited (???) to remember, your dreams can come true (well, probably not, but mine can).
* * * * *
JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER – and co-author of the mighty Bad Book. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his blog:www.jdmader.com (and musical nonsense here: JD Mader). Mader’s edgier works can be found at www.blergpop.com.